6.4/10
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Jesus Henry Christ (2011)

PG-13 | | Comedy | April 2011 (USA)
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2:13 | Trailer

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At the age of ten, Henry James Herman, a boy who was conceived in a petri-dish and raised by his feminist mother, follows a string of Post-It notes in hopes of finding his biological father.

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(screenplay), (short film)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Frank Moore ...
Stan Herman
Sarah Orenstein ...
Mother Herman
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Tim Herman
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Tom Herman
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Jimmy Herman
Lucca Tilbenny-Agate ...
Protest Little Girl
Peggi Tilbenny ...
Protest Mother
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Delivery Room Doctor
Jack Newman ...
Stan's Cohort #1
Jack Jessop ...
Stan's Cohort #2
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Storyline

Henry is a precocious young boy, conceived in a petri-dish, raised by his single mother, Patricia, and is smarter than all of his peers. However, the one question he can't answer is, who is his father? Henry's attempts at locating his father lead him to Dr. Slavkin O'Hara, a university professor who has decided to raise his daughter, Audrey, as a psychology experiment in a world free of gender bias. Patricia starts fearing that she's losing her son, Audrey wishes she didn't have a father, Dr. O'Hara has no idea how to keep his daughter happy, and Henry may just have found the family he was looking for. Written by napierslogs

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Finding yourself can be a group effort.

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violent images, language and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

April 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Origem da Vida  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$8,065 (USA) (20 April 2012)

Gross:

$8,065 (USA) (20 April 2012)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Henry James Herman: Why are any of us here? What is the purpose of our being?
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Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: The Five-Year Engagement (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Waltz #2 in A flat, Op. 34/1 Waltz Brillante
Composed by Frédéric Chopin
Performed by George Lepauw (piano)
Produced by Max Anisimov
Piano used fPiano Haus
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User Reviews

 
A Nutshell Review: Jesus Henry Christ
12 June 2011 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

The second film of Singapore Night, Jesus Christ Henry got into the lineup because of Singaporean Sukee Chew's involvement being one of three producers of the film, an indie production that made its World Premiere in the Tribeca Film Festival a few weeks ago, which drew quite a mixed response with comments that it had tried to hard. Written and directed by Korean American Dennis Lee based upon his short film back in 2003, I thought this movie garnered reactions that it didn't quite deserve for trying too hard, being crafted in the same hyperactive mold such as quirky comedies that have been seen around the region such as Citizen Dog and true blue Singaporean film 18 Grams of Love even.

There are a number of focus shifts in the film that tangent off its intended protagonist Henry James Herman (Jason Spevack), a petri-dish baby conceived through in-vitro fertilization technique opted by his feminist mom Patricia Herman (Toni Collette), turning out to be the unintentional genius with a videographic memory, retaining every single little detail that he's experienced since conception. Jason Spevack would probably be yet another child actor to look out for since Freddie Highmore grew up, and this film will serve as his showreel if not for being upstaged by the other cast members given the narrative shifts that put the spotlight on them.

Specifically I thought the film devoted a lot more time (not that I'm complaining) to the Patricia character, beginning with a rather lengthy introduction to the Herman family and the demise of each and every individual character beginning with Patricia's mother right down to her brothers, each in a rather comical manner that you'll likely be surprised at its rather nonchalant manner in which to bump them off, with black comedy by the bucket loads of course. And this set the course of the film to be rather gag filled in almost every scene put on screen, that for some it may be tiring and trying since it could have felt like a water torture treatment being force fed with in-your-face comedic moments. I appreciated what it had tried to do, but opinions on humour especially, and how to deliver it, will obviously be polarized.

Yes like a typical comedic indie film, this one is filled with its fair share of quirky characters. Outside of the mother-son Hermans, and Patricia's father Stan (Frank Moore) who forms a very strong bond with his grandson Henry, the story also goes out to another dysfunctional father-daughter pair when Henry embarks on a mission to discover his biological father. This brings Michael Sheen into the fray as Dr Slavkin O'Hara, a professor whose book "Born Gay or Made That Way?" becomes a living hell for his daughter Audrey (Samantha Weinstein) when she is the subject of his book, and becomes the constant taunt of her schoolmates.

Story-wise, the coming together of these two families in a sort of identity-crisis form the bulk of the situational comedy they find themselves in, but the pairing of both Weinstein and Spaveck together moved the story forward with both putting in strong performances and holding their own against two very powerful thespians in Sheen and Collette, although Weinstein probably upstaged Spaveck a little with her portrayal as the extremely cynical and sarcastic little girl quite unfazed by her tormentors. Again there are plenty of laugh out loud wicked moments that you will probably wonder if you're laughing at the film, or with it especially in its darker moments that could be quite unsettling.

Production values are quite spiffy given the big name executive producer behind this film, though Dennis Lee and Sukee Chew were quite tight lipped on how much this film actually cost since it looked like a multi-million dollar movie. If you're still game for quirkiness in all characters of your indie films, then Jesus Henry Christ will still be your cup of tea if you see beyond, or tolerate some eyebrow raising moments with its less than friendly jibes against lesbians/feminists as well as a white man who thinks he's black, otherwise those jaded will find fault with almost every frame of the film in trying too hard with wild absurdity in characters. Split down the middle, depending on your mood and attitude.


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